Incline walking does not help already-troubled knees – The clinic

? I am six foot four inches, 300 lbs. I’m trying to lose weight, and have been incline walking. I hope to start running in the near future. I had an MRI because I was experiencing some knee pain, and the radiologist at my site told me I have osteochondritis on the medial side of my right knee. Will this impede my ability to run once I reach 240 lbs?

Marty Turner, Verona, PA

First of all, beware of incline walking. If you have a knee injury or pathology, incline walking may increase the stresses placed on the medial (inside) and anterior (frontal) aspects of the knee. I would recommend a walk/jog program or a walk/race-walk program over walking on an incline.

Use caution when running or walking outside, keeping in mind that the streets and sidewalks are canted to allow for rain drainage. Avoid downhill running. Change the direction of your route or sides of the street with each workout. This will allow each leg exposure to be “in the ditch” during training.

Osteochondritis should not impede your ability to begin a running program, but depending on the amount of degeneration, you may have increased knee pain. Inflammation will probably impede the speed of your progress.

Anne Felts, MS, ATC/L, Lawrenceville, GA

A common predisposition to osteochondritis, particularly on the medial side, is an abnormal forefoot position in which it is turned inward toward the midline. There is too much play in the forefoot as it plants, with excessive torque pressure concentrating medially upon impact. Therefore it’s important to consult with a podiatrist who is sophisticated about and experienced in dealing with runners.

Secondly, you should do exercises for the quadriceps muscles. Consult with someone on which way to point your foot when lifting weights with your legs so as to specifically strengthen the medial quadriceps.

After running, apply ice to the painful area for approximately 15 minutes. It can also be applied at night even when there is no pain.

Paul Kiell, MD, Far Hills, NJ

COPYRIGHT 2003 American Running & Fitness Association

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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